Herbs & Plants

Rabbit Tobacco

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Botanical Name: Pseudognaphalium obtusifolium
Family:    Asteraceae
Genus:    Pseudognaphalium
Species:    P. obtusifolium
Order:    Asterales

Common Name: Rabbit Tobacco,  Sweet Everlasting, Sweet White Balsam, Fragrant Life Everlasting, Fuzzy Gussy , Gnaphalium Obtusifolium. Indian Posy, Cat’s Foot Gnaphalium obtusifolium,

Habitat: Found in Dry open areas.Native plant of the eastern United States. Most of eastern North America. Arlington Texas.

Plant Type: This is a herbaceous plant, it is a annual which can reach 80cm in height (30inches). It is sometimes a biennial. The plant is covered with a cottony down.These annual herbs reach a height of 1 to 3 feet and have erect stems with brown, shriveled leaves persisting into winter and stems covered with felt-like hairs in summer.Erect, cottony stem bears branched clusters of whitish-yellow, round, fragrant flower heads. The leaves are 1 to 3 inches long, and alternate. The flowers, minute in whitish heads, appear in late summer to fall.

The leaves are alternate. Each leaf is entire, narrow and, like the rest of the plant, wooly
Flowers: The flower parts are not discernable with the naked eye and are up to 1cm long (0.4 inches) and are up to 0.5cm wide (0.2 inches). They are whitish to light brown. Blooms first appear in mid summer and continue into mid fall.

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Everlastings in abandoned fields or seasonally mowed areas especially slopes for it is not fond of low or damp areas. The plant is slightly aromatic and has a distinctive color and form. Even in the dead of winter it is easy to spot. Harvested while still fresh the flowers will remain intact for a long time.

The Cherokee named it rabbit tobacco because they believe it was the rabbit who took attended the plant.Unmistakable by its creamy appearance in the still green background of the early fall meadows. Leaves long, elliptical and silver green colored. Plant up to one meter high. Unusual fragrance. Can be smoked for respiratory ailments or made into a relaxing tea. A common tobacco substitute used by young boys in rural areas.

Lore: There are many accounts of Everlasting being smoked in place of tobacco by Native Americans and settlers alike and the smoke held a spiritual or mystic power for many Indians. The Cheyenne dropped the leaves on hot coals and used the smoke to purify gifts to the spirits. Cheyenne warriors chewed the leaves and rubbed there body’s with it to strengthen and protect them in battle. The Menomini used the smoke after a death to keep the ghost of a the dead from bringing nightmares and bad luck to the surviving family members. The Potawatomi and the Chippewa use the smoke to drive away sprits (witches) from their dwellings. The Cherokees used it in sweat baths. It was also thought by many tribes that the smoke had a restorative power that could revive the unconscious or paralyzed.(Erichsen-Brown) The fresh juice has some reputation as an aphrodisiac(Newcomb) though how it is used or how much I, sadly, do not know.

Medical Uses: Everlasting is certainly astringent and is commonly thought to be sedative, diuretic and a very mild pain reliever. Both the smoke and a leaf tea have been use to treat various throat and bronchial conditions from colds to asthma and especially for coughs. It is also used for diarrhea. Sores on the skin and in the mouth are poulticed with it as are bruises and it has been highly recommended for burns.

Similar Species: Clammy Everlasting (P. macounii) is very similar. The leaves are wider at the base and clasp the stem whereas the leaves or Sweet Everlasting taper slightly at the base.

Pearly Everlasting (Anaphalis margaritacea) (note that it is a different genus) also is very similar. It has wider flower heads that are almost pure white. It is a perennial. This plant is often used in dried flower arrangements. Male and female flowers are on different plants. It’s range extends only as far south as the Virginias.
Less similar are members of the Antennaria genus Pussytoes .

Disclaimer:The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.



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Herbs & Plants

Butternut (Juglans Cinerea)

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Botanical Name: Juglans cinerea
Family: Juglandaceae
Genus: Juglans
Section: Trachycaryon
Species: J. cinerea
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Fagales

Synonyms  : Wallia cinerea. Nux cinerea

Other Names: Butternut, White Walnut, Oilnut.

Rich soil in deciduous woods. Southeastern Minnesota, southern Ontario, and western New Brunswick, south to northern Arkansas, northern Mississippi, western Georgia, and western South Carolina.

Parts Used: Inner bark and nut oil.

Description:The Butternut (Juglans cinerea), also occasionally known as the White Walnut, is a species of walnut native to the eastern United States and southeast Canada, from southern Quebec west to Minnesota, south to northern Alabama and southwest to northern Arkansas. It is a deciduous tree growing to 20 m tall, rarely 30 m, and 40-80 cm stem diameter, with light gray bark. The leaves are pinnate, 40-70 cm long, with 11-17 leaflets, each leaflet 5-10 cm long and 3-5 cm broad. The whole leaf is downy-pubescent, and a somewhat brighter, yellower green than many other tree leaves. The flowers are inconspicuous yellow-green catkins produced in spring at the same time as the new leaves appear. The fruit is a nut, produced in bunches of 2-6 together; the nut is oblong-ovoid, 3-6 cm long and 2-4 cm broad, surrounded by a green husk before maturity in mid autumn. Butternut grows quickly, but is rather short-lived for a tree, rarely living longer than 75 years.

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It has gray, relatively smooth bark. The leaves are large and pinnate, divided into 11 to 19 pointed and toothed leaflets; there are drooping racemes or catkins of separate male and female flowers.

he Butternut is seriously threatened by an introduced canker disease, caused by the fungus Sirococcus clavigigenti-juglandacearum. In some areas, 90% of the Butternut trees have been killed. Completely free-standing trees seem better able to withstand the fungus than those growing in dense stands or forest. The fungus is spread by a wide-ranging vector, so isolation of a tree offers no protection.

Inner bark tea or extract was a popular early American laxative, thought to be effective in small doses, without causing griping (cramps). American Indians used bark in tea for rheumatism, headaches, toothaches; strong warm tea for wounds to stop bleeding, promote healing. Oil from nuts used for tapeworms, fungal infections. Juglone, a component, is antiseptic and herbicidal; some antitumor activity has also been reported.

Bitter principle, essential oils, fixed oil, juglandic acid, juglone, tannin.

General Uses:
The nuts are usually used in baking and making candies, having an oily texture and pleasant flavor. The husks are also used to make a yellowish dye.

Butternut wood is light in weight and takes polish well, is highly rot resistant, but is much softer than Black Walnut wood. Oiled, the grain of the wood usually shows much light. It is often used to make furniture, and is a favorite of woodcarvers.

Medicinal Properties  &   Uses: 
Alterative, anthelmintic, astringent, bitter tonic, cholagogue, hepatic, and rubefacient.

The inner bark is the medical portion and that of the root is considered the best.  It has a feeble odor and a peculiarly bitter, somewhat acrid taste.  Its medicinal virtues are extracted by boiling water, except its astringency, which it yields to alcohol. Butternut is a mild cathartic, operating without pain or irritation and resembling rhubarb in evacuating without debilitating, the alimentary canal. It was highly esteemed and much employed as a laxative by the Army during the Revolutionary War.  The liquid extract is very valuable in chronic constipation, especially combined with a carminative herb such as ginger or angelica.  It will tone the entire alvine membrane, being particularly tonic to the lower bowels, influencing peristalsis.  It is moderately slow, operating in 4-8 hours, but very reliable.  It relieves the portal circulation, especially where the liver is engorged.  It will bring about the ejection of bile and the cleansing of the hepatic and alvine accumulations, but it will not bring about water evacuations.  It is considered excellent for other bowel affections, particularly dysentery, in which it has acquired considerable reputation.  A simple syrup of butternut can be made as follows: Fl X butternut ? oz, 4 oz sugar, and 10 oz boiling water.  Mix and bottle.  Dose is 1 Tbsp twice daily, children in proportion.  This syrup is excellent for hemorrhoids and rectal hemorrhage, FE stone root may be added.  For tapeworm, it is considered a reliable remedy, especially for children.  The oil may be applied to irritated sores.  Butternut also lowers cholesterol levels and promotes the clearance of waste products by the liver. It has a positive reputation in treating intestinal worms. An infusion of the dried outer bark is used in the treatment of toothache.

Uses: Stimulates liver in sluggish or congestive digestive disorders.
Chronic or acute skin disease associated with bowel and/or liver topor.
Chronic constipation with dyspepsia.

Combinations: Works well with Barberry and Dandelion for mild constipation.

Works well with Yellow Dock and Burdock for skin disorders.

Preparations and Dosages:

Weak decoction: 2 to 4 ounces, up to 3 times a day.

Butternut is also a wild food.

Known Hazards : The naphthoquinone constituents may cause gastric (stomach) irritation. Avoid in patients with gallstones.

The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider